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Smoked Fish in Soy, Wine, and Rum Brine modified* by Kevin Madsen*The above recipe is based on a combination of recipes found at: http://www.3men.com/smoked.htm#Basic Instructions for Smoking Fish

Lower salt and mellower favor!
• ADD Unskinned Fish till the brine just covers it well (roughly 9 lbs of salmon per batch or almost a 32 inch fish)
• 1/3 C Sugar
• 1/4 C Non-iodized salt (kosher salt, pickling, or Sea Salt)
• 1 C Soy sauce Low Salt Type*
• 1 C Water
• 1/2 tablespoons Onion powder
• 1/2 tablespoons Garlic powder
• 1/2 tablespoons Pepper
• 1 C Dry white wine – can use fruit favored such as in watermelon
• 1 C Rum
Mix the above brine ingredients well, ensuring that all dry ingredients are dissolved or suspended (no ingredients should be floating on surface or sitting on the bottom) before adding fish. Refrigerate and keep all pieces covered with brine (can cover with plate or weighted grate). I stir the mix fish around every 4-6 hours during the soaking process. Soak in the brine for a minimum of 8 hours. I recommend that the skin be left on and the fish soaked 12 hours (It is fine to soak for 24 hours). The skin is very useful in holding the fish together during the smoking process and can be easily separate from the meat after the smoking is completed.
Smoke in your favorite smoker over your favorite wood - Hickory, Alder, or a mix of 2/3 Apple and 1/3 Cherry wood (I have used straight Alder or Hickory with great results). Place skin side down on smoker rack. Smoking times will depend on the thickness of the fish and the type of smoker you are using and taste. You can vary the smoking time to taste but I try to keep fish in heavy smoke for the first ¾ of the smoking process. Place largest and thickest pieces closest to the heat/smoke source at around 150 degrees, rotate racks as needed for uniform drying. It is recommended that just before the fish is completely dried roughly after ¾ of smoking process (say 6 hours) - Preheat your oven to 250 degrees and place fish in oven for at least 15 minutes. This will make the ending product safer for consumption and should always be done when feed to others. If the fish is not sufficiently dried (I allow for it to have a slight amount of moisture) after removing from the oven return the fish to smoker to complete drying process. I tried a couple variations of this recipe but this was my favorite. Other fish may be used but for the best results use salmon or steelhead. When trying other fatty fish for the first time, I suggest you use only a few lbs of trail fish in with a batch with a fish that you have already liked it smoked this way. Then you will not have an entire batch that you do not like it the trail fish does not have a good taste to you.
Since fish prepared this way is not heavily salted (salt cured), is oilier (oily skin retained and only removed after smoking), and may have more moisture, * the resulting fish must be refrigerated. If you like it saltier or want to keep it unrefrigerated for short periods of time, I suggest you: 1) skin fish before adding to brine: 2) add fully salted soy sauce with at least1/3 cup of salt or added at least ½ cup salt if you do not add soy sauce, 3) add less fish per batch (so fish soaks in more salt), and make sure fish is smoked till DRY.
Depending on your taste you may add ½ teaspoon to 1 tablespoon Onion powder, Garlic powder, and/or Pepper. You may change proportion of liquid ingredients as long as total equals 4 cups (one quart). For example, 1) increase soy sauce to 2 cups while reducing salt by about 1/8 cup and not adding water just 1 cup wine and 1 cup rum, and 2) without rum and wine add 4 cups of water increasing salt to ½ cup. You may add more sugar or a mix of sugars such as 1/3 cup brown sugar with 1/3 cup white sugar and Tabasco sauce or peppercorns (see below for more recipe ideas).
Basic Brine is: 1 Fillet of Fish, 1/2 C Sugar, 1/2 C Non-iodized salt, and 4 cups water
• Tested and worked
• ADD Unskinned Fish till the brine just covers it well (roughly 9 lbs of salmon per batch or almost a 32 inch fish)
• 1/3 C Brown Sugar
• 1/8 cup non iodized Ball pickling salt
• 1 1/2 C Soy sauce regular Salt Type<
• 1/2 tablespoons Onion powder <
• 1/2 tablespoons Garlic powder<
• 1/2 tablespoons Pepper <
• 1 1/4 C Dry white wine – Sawtooth Idaho Chardonnay 2005<
• 1 1/3 C rum Bacardi Gold
• 2 tablespoons Weber Sweet’N TANGY BBQ<
 

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Onion and garlic powder are often loaded with preservatives and sodium, so whatever might be gained with the lower sodium soy sauce might be lost. I would suggest using real onions and garlic.

'Love to brine things. Last year's Thanksgiving brined turkey was out of this world.
 

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Good idea but since I add only 1 teasoon of powder and reduce the salt in the soy and reduce the actual salt from .33 cup to .25 cup it has s about 1/2 the salt.
 
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